A St. Paul native, DeCoster is a well-known Minnesota artist who has exhibited extensively throughout the Midwest for over 40 years. In the mid-1960s she studied painting with Sidney Delevante in New York while raising four children. During the same period, she also wrote and illustrated two children’s books that were published by Doubleday. In 1974 she continued her studies at the Instituto Allende in Mexico and in 1984 she completed her MFA at the University of Minnesota.
Anne DeCoster has taught at Hamline University, been a visiting artist at Macalester and St. Olaf Colleges and was a resident artist at Concordia College. DeCoster divides her time between her studio in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul and her studio-home overlooking the St. Croix River.
I am still moved and excited by the natural world we live in. I still see it as endlessly interesting, and ever-changing, often dramatic in its being. My aim is still to connect with the essence of it – its energy – its being. It’s very difficult! But it has to be authentic in this way or it will never work.
These days there is a strong political focus too, due to the facts of climate change and pollution. We are at last aware that we must take care of our natural resources in order to preserve the world we love and must live in.
I love this poem by Wendell Berry:
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.